George and Views From the Road

One of my favourite spring sounds is a chorus of frogs greeting one another and encouraging the production and fertilization of frog eggs. These guys were singing up a storm in the little slough just north of town last evening. (It breaks my heart when brush and wetlands are plowed over and drained to create more farmland. I’ve got to toughen up if I’m going to live around here. Heck, I’ve got to toughen up if I’m going to live anywhere.)

This morning I had my first really good visit with George, my neighbour’s cat who disappeared last year and then unexpectedly returned months later, starving and full of buckshot. I’m so glad he’s back! We missed each other. Having him around saves me from needing to get a cat of my own!

See how charming he is?

It’s such a beautiful sunny and still day here! I had a quick editing assignment to do, and now I should go sweep out the dusty garage. Before I do, though, here are some more photos. A neighbour lady here in town paints these rocks and leaves them along the road north of town for walkers, runners, and bikers to find as they trek along. I took these the other evening, the same time as I captured the frogs’ song.

I hope you’re having a very pleasant day wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. Take care of yourself and of each other during these very strange days. ~ Lori (and George)

Well I’ve been out walking
I don’t do that much talking these days

A Caturday Post (About Cats)

 

Slowest ReaderLately, I’ve been dreaming about cats. The other night I dreamt that a half-grown grey cat brought a small mouse into the garage where I was working. The cat set the dead mouse down a couple metres from me (physically distancing herself) and began picking away delicately at the rodent. Soon after, another cat, older and also grey but with prominent orange stripes, carried in a larger rodent, placed in on the concrete floor near the other cat and started to feast.

I recall feeling flattered in my dream that the cats trusted me enough – a total stranger – to eat their lunch right in front of me. In fact, both cats behaved as if I wasn’t even there. I was very pleased but, at the same time, a bit grossed out because the consuming of the dead rodents was pretty graphic. In my dream, I planned how I would keep these cats without having to bring them into the house to live with me.

I pictured installing a cat door in the walk-through door that opens onto our patio and I imagined an electric heater of some type to keep my feline friends warm in winter weather. I worried that the heater might start a fire. Always thinking ahead, even when I’m asleep.

Cat Wineglass

Our housecat died almost exactly six years ago now. Here’s some solid advice: if you don’t want a cat for sixteen years, don’t volunteer to bottle feed newborn kittens for the local SPCA. How do you feed a helpless creature for weeks, waking up at 3:00 a.m. to heat tiny bottles of milk-replacement formula, and then give that kitten back? You don’t. That’s how we got Otis.

We miss her presence still, that funny little cat. She was neurotic in the most entertaining way. Otis also made a mess, especially during the last few years, vomiting everywhere and suffering from what seemed like a steady stream of diarrhea. So now you understand why we’re not in a big rush to invite another animal to live inside with us.

IMG_6812
George before his trials and tribulations.

Remember George? The neighbour’s cat that went missing last year and then showed up months later, buck-shot and starving? We saw George the other day trying to hoist his now-rotund body over our back garden gate. We were so happy to see him out and about.

When he first returned home after his ordeal, his owner told me that George ate all the food in his dish and then tried to eat the plastic cat food dish. While he was away on his adventure, George’s owners were offered a pair of kittens. They missed George, assumed dead, and missed having cats around. So they adopted the kittens a few weeks before George rammed his head repeatedly into the locked cat door of his former home.

Curiosity

The other day, we drove into our alley and pressed the automatic garage door opener button. Just then, we saw two startled cats, young and matching, leap into the air from in front of the magically-opening door, and dash with their bellies nearly flat against the ground and their tails straight out, across the alley and back to George’s house. The kittens must’ve been enjoying the sunshine reflecting off the white garage door onto the concrete pad in front of it. Cats are funny.

George and I hope that you have a very pleasant weekend. Thanks for reading our caturday post. ~ Lori

IMG_6817

 

The Cat Came Back

Hi there! Thanks for joining me today. Come and read my happy, heartwrenching story about the neighbour’s cat whom I love.

IMG_6813

Ever since I returned home from a trip to Puerto Vallarta last May, I’ve been a little blue. Before we left on our vacation, my feline friend, George, was helping me in the garden. I really enjoyed his company. In fact, I enjoyed him even more than when he came to assist me the spring before. That’s when George first came to live in our neighbourhood. Since his arrival I’ve grown quite attached to that cat.

How did he get to my neck of the woods? I suspect he was born locally as so many cats are. We don’t need to import them. There are an abundance of cats produced right here. Then, when he was sick and still only a few weeks old, someone left him on my neighbour’s back step, thin and wrapped in a blanket.

My neighbour has a really soft heart for animals. I think the dropper-off-er knew this and that’s why she was selected as the lucky winner of the Who Wants a Cat? draw.

Compassionately, my neighbour drove the cat to the veterinarian clinic where he was hooked up to an IV for a couple of days to ward off dehydration and infection. That fluffy kitten survived, was christened “George”, and then, when he was old enough, George came to my backyard to get to know me.

A Stealthy Hunter

George is a stealthy hunter of birds and a clever remover of belled collars. The afternoon I saw George up in the next door neighbour’s tree and lying on the roof of the birdhouse mounted there and waiting patiently for a feathered head to emerge, I called George’s owner.

“George is quite a hunter,” I told her and gently suggested, “Maybe he needs a bell on his collar to give the birds a fighting chance.”

IMG_6817

The next day, George strolled into my yard sporting a collar with a bell. By suppertime, George had rubbed that collar right off.

But, the following day, he wore a brand new collar, a blue one with a larger bell. This, too, soon disappeared.

And in May, when I returned from Mexico, George had disappeared, as well. The backyard was a lonely place all summer and on into the fall. My heart felt heavy every time George crossed my mind.

Good News

 

The other day, my husband and I were working in our backyard. George’s owner swung into the  back alley, jumped out of her car, and told us, “George came back!”

“When? How?” I wanted to know.

My neighbour explained that as she was doing dishes that Saturday evening, suddenly something started ramming her locked cat door, pushing on it hard from the outside. She undid the latch (something I might not have done as we have muskrats and skunks in the neighbourhood, and sometimes feral cats, too) and in came George!

The poor little guy was worse for wear. He had been shot several times with BB pellets and he was starving. Before my neighbour began removing the pellets she could get at, she fed George. He gobbled the food and then began eating the plastic dish before my neighbour took it away.  Then he threw up what he’d eaten.

CuriosityWhen Thanksgiving weekend was over, my neighbour took George to the vet’s. He stayed there again on an IV drip to sustain him and the veterinarian dug out the remaining shotgun pellets from George’s skinny body.

“He doesn’t want to go outside now,” the neighbour confided. “He sleeps in his carrier and hasn’t moved around much. My husband’s going to build an outdoor run for him.”

I thought that was a really good idea. My heart is glad that George is back and, at the same time, it is sorrowful that the world is so darn hard on the creatures who roam it.

Thanks for reading! Drop by my site anytime. It’s nice having you here with me. ~ Lori

“The Cat Came Back” is a comic song written by Harry S. Miller in 1893. This short film is from Canada’s own National Film Board. It’s pretty dark! Give it a view.

My Summer – A Photo Blog

Hello everyone! This has been far and away the laziest, least productive summer I’ve had in years. It’s been delicious! Early on in the season, we traveled to Mexico twice. The first time was to Puerto Vallarta where we stayed right downtown. We made this decision based on the fact that whenever we go to that Vallarta area, we end up hopping on a bus and trying to get downtown. It took us several visits to realize that we could just stay downtown…

When we returned home, we discovered that the neighbour’s cat, George, had gone missing. I’m still sad! George treated us like family and really liked to “help” me out around the yard.

After being home for two weeks, we headed off to San Jose del Cabo. This is a trip we’d scheduled earlier in the year with my brother and sister-in-law. We loved exploring a new part of Mexico.

Don’t look too closely at any of the photos of me or you’ll soon notice that I wear the same clothes over and over again. I pack very lightly when we travel so clothing repeats are nearly impossible to avoid. If it’s a good traveling outfit, you’ll see it again and again!

We spent a lot of July at home doing some projects and just enjoying life. At the end of July we headed out to British Columbia where we visited my dad for his birthday and stayed in our first B&B.

From BC, we drove down into Washington and flew from Seattle to Las Vegas where we had discounted rooms for the small price of attending a two-hour time share presentation. No. We did not buy a time share, but I did enjoy the room. I also enjoyed meeting the showgirls on Freemont Street in downtown Vegas.

We traveled back through Washington and up to BC, seeing Dad again on the way back. After leaving BC and returning to Alberta, we also had a chance to visit a place I’ve wanted to see forever: the Historic Bar U Ranch in southern Alberta.

When we got home from this jaunt, I spent a little time buidling a WordPress website for our local historical society. It would be great if you’d check it out and consider giving us a follow there.

Thanks for joining me on this short journey down a very recent memory lane! It was nice to remember it with someone. Have a great weekend, as lazy or productive as you want it to be.

~ Lori

Flowers in the Ditch, Clouds in the Sky

This summer I’m relaxed and happy, and there’s beauty all around. Sure, there’s some clutter in my mind and a few things weighing me down, but all in all, I’m lighter and freer than I’ve been for years. I’ll take it!

Read More...

Sweet Peas and Optimism

IMG_5676
Last year’s vibrant sweet peas.

Hello! Yesterday was our first really warm day with the temperature sneaking up close to 20° Celsius. That’s all the encouragement the leaves on the trees needed. They were reluctant in the howling wind and 4° temperatures to pop out, but today in the warm wind, they all decided to take a chance and come on out. When I walked today, the first thing I noticed were those light green leaves, the colour of optimism.

If hope has a feel to it, that feeling was definitely in the air this morning. Last night, I soaked two kinds of sweet pea seeds. One type was what I planted last year and whose seeds I harvested last fall. These will produce very brightly-coloured smaller flowers. The other variety will produce large lightly-coloured blooms in softer pastel shades. These seeds I purchased late in the winter from T&T Seeds. If you’re a gardener and haven’t yet seen their catalogue, it’s fun to explore!

Beautiful
A sweet pea bloom after the rain.

This afternoon, I’ll work up the soil one more time and plant those sweet peas now that the earth is warm. I’m very fortunate to have a gardening companion these days. He was with me last gardening season, too. Dear readers, I’m pleased to introduce George. No, he’s not my cat, but he would happily call our house home. He has nothing against his current owners. Having two homes would mean twice as much attention and twice as much food. George knows this and I can tell this is his plan. It’s not going to happen, George.

 

I wish you a very happy spring day and some of the optimism that goes along with it. Have a great weekend and a happy Mother’s Day!

~ Lori